One of the things that we didn’t expect to find in our travels around Tas’ was the beauty of Ben Lomond and its tabletop plateau, which is Tasmania’s primary Ski Resort and a spectacular alpine region of the Apple Isle. We never actually gave it a thought… we knew about Cradle Mountain and its glorious landscape, often shrouded in clouds. We had discovered the little talked about High Country of the Highland Lakes and the Steppes of Tas’, where snow sits soundly around for months on end and where wood fires are the norm’ in every house. These things we had discovered, but no one had spoken of Ben Lomond… the highest alpine peak in Tasmania, and its premier ski resort region. It’s a table top mountain that offers some absolutely spectacular scenery out across the countryside in the north east of the island.
Millions of years ago ice scoured the top of Ben Lomond, grinding down to expose the spectacular dolerite rock formations and exposing the ragged cliffs, fracturing the dolerite columns, leaving scree slopes and fields of rock rubble or moraines in a glacial wake, very much predominant in the landscape of Ben Lomond.
Not generally a lover of cold climates, we ventured up the winding track to the heights of Ben Lomond in this the summer months. I love the alpine summers, the beautiful alpine carpets of flowers and the adventurous wildlife. We were on our way to the Bay of Fires in the NE coastal corner of Tas and we were looking forward to the gorgeous colours there, but we didn’t expect to find them in such a magnificent display at the top of the alpine mountains! What a wonderful surprise that was.
The alpine blanket of spring and summer just spread itself across the table heights of Ben Lomond in a glorious crown of golds, russets, greens and white and it was breathtaking. There is nothing quite like an Alpine village in summer and I have never understood why they are usually so deserted. It is a magnificent place to be, a great place to wander through and usually you can easily find that lovely shelter tucked away somewhere to have an alpine picnic.
The scenery of course is stunning and the winding road up the mountainside is breathtaking… and I DO mean that. More than once I found myself with my breath held and I wondered how on earth I would feel with the wheels cloaked in snow chains and the road covered in ice and snow. It was nerve-racking enough for me in summer when I could peel my eyes from the spectacular scenes rolling out around me, to glance down over the scree edges and moraines of the Cliffside we were climbing.
Ben Lomond had not been on our itinerary at all… but it was one of the most spectacular of day runs that we did in our adventures out from camp to explore the countryside.
I would recommend that you don’t miss it! Take a picnic lunch, explore… and I can promise you that you will not be disappointed. Leave the ‘van down in the lowlands though… I wouldn’t be towing anything up those alpine roads and tracks… believe me.
What a glorious adventure it was.
Jan is a Traveller and an Author. You can find out more about her books on travel on the page dedicated to Oldies at Large, where you will also find a list of her blog postings in topic.
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